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October 12, 2010

Ten years from now, a hundred, a thousand? Yeah, we know what architecture will look like then.

an introduction to architects the future

Liz Ogbu is the associate design director with Public Architecture in San Francisco, an organization that focuses on community-based architecture.
In ten years, the nature of architecture as a service industry will have shifted. The trend of multidisciplinary collaboration that is now emerging in the developed countries of the West will be far more pronounced. Architects will find that they can better serve their clients' needs by proactively teaming with economists, anthropologists, graphic designers, and other professionals. Architectural projects will be thought of less as standalone buildings and more as comprehensive tools that solve complex problems. Today broad segments of the public don’t have access to thoughtful design. That will change. In ten years, more architects will have learned the power of getting actively involved in the communities they inhabit. 

Bob Berkebile is a founding principal of BNIM Architects in Kansas City, Missouri, and helped create the AIA’s Committee on the Environment, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the LEED rating system.
Architecture in 2110 will have everything to do with how successful architects are in reducing carbon in the next decade. If architects are successful, then inspiring, transformative work for the remaining nine decades is possible. On the other hand, if carbon is still climbing, then we will literally be designing for our survival. We need to visualize both outcomes—–success and failure—–to move forward. Architects must lead this effort, and leadership means nothing less than transforming the way our society defines quality of life. To pull this off, architects will need to move beyond designs that are “less bad” to designs that increase environmental vitality and human potential. For better or worse, buildings will be fundamentally different by 2110. If for the better, that means that architects in the coming decade saw what was coming, and acted appropriately.

Jennifer Wolch is a leading scholar of urban analysis and planning and serves as the dean of the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.
1,000 years, global society may have failed to address climate change. The planet, beset by increasingly extreme events—hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, plagues—is a place where architects build temporary facilities as fast as they can for refugees from climate wars, catastrophic events, and a collapsing food chain. Those with money and power have long ago decamped to the off-world (perhaps taking one or two of their favorite “starchitects” with them!).

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